This weekend, Zack Snyder revealed the first trailer of his new Justice League cut, which is coming to the HBO Max streaming service in 2021. It's unclear how Zack Snyder's Justice League will release in countries without the streamer, like the UK, but Snyder promised a distribution plan is in the works that'll let everyone see it.
The trailer pretty much gave Snyder's fans what they wanted: scenes that were once teased for the 2017 movie but ended up on the cutting room floor, as well as confirmed appearances of characters that were eventually sliced out of the film. Generally, I predict the Snyder version of Justice League will end up being better than the muddled 2017 film, even if I'm fairly confident it'll provoke a divisive reaction in the same way his other DC Comics adaptations have.
Below, I've picked out some highlights of what we just learned about the Snyder Cut, as well as a few things I didn't like about the trailer.
The coolest part of the trailer is seeing scenes that were never in the finished film, despite being teased by promotional materials ahead of its release. The novelty value of getting more Batfleck and Ezra Miller's Flash is high, and these extra parts of the movie are the reason people wanted this cut to begin with.
If the Snyder version of the movie is four hours long, and the original theatrical release is 120 minutes in length with some of the reshoots that Snyder didn't direct, you're looking at minimum of two hours of Justice League you've never seen before.
Cyborg is getting more attention
Snyder refers to Cyborg (Ray Fisher) as the heart of the film, and the trailer suggests we're going to see more of Victor Stone's life as a football star before he becomes the superhero. In 2017's theatrical release of Justice League, Cyborg really was dull as hell, so hopefully seeing more of his background will represent a positive change.
Dividing the cut into episodes
I would personally prefer to enjoy this film in a TV miniseries-like format rather than struggling through a four-hour movie. Watching the Batman V Superman Ultimate Edition was already fairly exhausting – even though it's a superior version of the movie, it's not an experience I repeat too frequently, given that it's three hours long.
Thankfully, for fans who want that marathon experience, the film will be offered in a more traditional complete format once it's finished releasing, if you've got the patience to enjoy it all in a single sitting.
My guess is that the episodic structure is as much about HBO Max wanting to create hype over a longer period as it is about the practicalities of watching a four-hour film. No doubt this'll address any concerns of people marathoning the film on a free trial and cancelling their subscriptions, too.
Iris West is in Snyder's cut
Kiersey Clemons as Iris West. #DCFanDome pic.twitter.com/7NBmlfZepfAugust 22, 2020
The original Justice League cut kept a scene between Barry Allen and his imprisoned father (played by Billy Crudup), but deleted his encounter with future love interest Iris West (played by Kiersey Clemons). It's great to see this cut scene added again, especially ahead of The Flash movie coming in 2022. Ezra Miller's Flash was one of the released movie's best parts – why not give the hero a little romance?
There's a scene I really liked at the start of this Justice League trailer between Clark Kent and Lois Lane that criminally got sliced from the finished cut – it was a delicate bit of relationship building that the finished film was lacking. Based on the new Snyder Cut trailer, this seems to have found its way back into his version of this movie.
Generally speaking, there wasn't enough of Henry Cavill in the 2017 Justice League, either, considering that the entire series of these movies was originally built around him.
Alright, time for a bit of negativity to cancel that out. These are things I didn't enjoy about the reveal of Zack Snyder's Justice League.
The trailer is pompous as hell
Using Leonard Cohen's 'Hallelujah' in the teaser was embarrassingly cheesy – both for recalling the ludicrous Nite Owl/Silk Spectre sex scene from Snyder's (otherwise good) 2009 Watchmen adaptation, and for overstating how exciting the idea of watching a new version of an old, bad superhero film really is.
Darkseid looked really bad
pic.twitter.com/R1xL3QQUDNAugust 22, 2020
It was probably just early effects work, but the opening shot of the villain Darkseid looked poor to me. If Snyder's fanbase is going to make such a big deal about the DC villain's inclusion in this version of the movie, it'd be nice if he actually looked good. People already complained extensively about Steppenwolf, the CG monster villain from the original Justice League cut.
Why exactly is another one of those any better? Snyder has to prove that.
If Thanos demonstrated anything in the MCU, it's that getting this kind of character right requires both nuanced motives and high-quality visual effects work. This guy, meanwhile, looks like a particularly in-shape super mutant from the Fallout games.